Something few people know about me is my obsession with the 1950’s show I Love Lucy. I’ve watched each episode no less than 10 times each in my lifetime. I first started watching that show when I was around 4 or 5 years old and I have all of the seasons on VHS and DVD. I can recite almost any line and I know everything that’s going to happen. If they release never-before-seen episodes, I could probably predict what they were going to say and do before they did it. I knew those characters so well they might as well have been close family or friends.
I can almost say the same about the show Friends. If they came back, I could predict their lines and reactions thanks to how many times I’ve watched and studied each episode.
Taking a Calculus Rerun
Back in high school, I took Calculus I and II and scored a 3 of 5 on my Calculus BC advanced placement exam. As a result, I could not receive credit for Calculus II at Penn State University, so I needed to retake Calculus II. Mr. Diaz, my HS calculus teacher, told me this was good news. He told me that by taking it again, it would be like watching a movie twice. You always notice something you didn’t notice the first time and the plot makes more sense. He said this will be no different and he was right. It ended up being a great experience. The rerun served me quite well.
What I learned by always missing my annual reading goals
Several years ago, I reflected on my reading goals of years past and concluded I mostly missed the mark. I always set goals for 20 or 30 books but maybe got to 10-12 on a good year. However, I realized that the 10-12 I did read made a significant impact on my work that year. Some of these books continue to make an impact on me. It wasn’t about how many books I read in a given year, instead it was about which books I read. But what if I could take this further?
Applying Reruns to Learning
A couple of years ago I wondered how I could take that further and then it occurred to me. While watching a Grant Cardone video, he said that he gives his employees access to all of his trainings. He tells them to watch the content over and over again until it grooves into their brain. That got me thinking about my obsession with Friends and I Love Lucy. I wondered what if I read (or listened) to books 3, 4, or even 5 times? What if I also did that for the podcasts and YT videos that resonated with me the most?
So I started doing that. In 2019 I was taking a Tony Robbins audio course and instead of listening to it once, I listened to it multiple times in a period of 1-2 months. I then started doing the same with Russell Brunson’s Secrets trilogy. The same for Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule. I took other Tony Robbins courses and did the same. In the last 12 months, I went through half a dozen Michael Hyatt books at least twice each. In fact, this opened me up to the world of audiobooks, which I had previously resisted so much. By reading, watching, or listening to the content over and over, I internalize more and think the way the authors think.
Just like I Love Lucy or Friends, I can almost predict the ideas or imagine what the authors would say or think about a particular challenge.
My Reading Goals Today
Watching and listening to book and educational content reruns has been one of the most effective learning strategies I’ve discovered. What’s crazy is that ran completely counter to all of my past goals for reading 30 or more books each year. Turns out more isn’t more. But more of the same, compounds to become A LOT more.
Today, instead of reading 30 books in a year, I set out to read 10 books, 3 times each in a year.
What have you read or listened to recently that you could put on replay for the next few weeks?